I Am NOT Charlie — I’ll Shoot Back!

Papa Whiskey is a long-time American reader and commenter here at Gates of Vienna. Below is his take on recent events in Paris.

I am NOT Charlie — I’ll shoot back!
by Papa Whiskey

January 9, 2015

When the story of the furor over a Danish newspaper’s publication of a handful of drawings depicting Muhammad, Islam’s prophet, broke in early February of 2006, I was astounded. Riots? Death threats? Torched embassies? Over a few cartoons?

The mystery deepened when I actually saw the images on the Jihad Watch website. To one who remembered the era of American underground comics, they were really pretty tame stuff. The harshest of them showed a scowling Arab face wearing a round black turban with a burning fuse coming out of its top, to suggest one of the old-timey bombs thrown by anarchists a century ago. The others ranged from the cogent — an artist shown drawing a picture of Muhammad in the dead of night, sweating in terror — to the cryptic, with in-jokes only a Dane would get.

Their innocuous nature, however, didn’t keep the Muslim world from erupting in outrage. The paper, Jyllands-Posten, had commissioned the drawings in 2005 as part of an assessment of the extent to which self-censorship regarding Islam had permeated Denmark’s arts community, prompted by the difficulties encountered by an author who’d written a children’s book on the life of Muhammad and was trying to find an illustrator. Twenty-five artists were solicited for the project, of whom half made submissions. Their publication by Jyllands-Posten’s cultural editor Flemming Rose incensed the local Muslim community, which protested to the government. Tough, they were politely told. Danish law protects freedom of expression. Sorry ’bout that.

That should have been that, but the Muslims of Denmark decided to “internationalize” their protest. A delegation of imams took the cartoons to the Mideast — Egypt, Lebanon, and other countries — to gin up indignation at their publication. Their tour culminated in a December meeting at the annual convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Cairo, where they were shown to the Egyptian foreign minister and other officials.

The “Cartoon Jihad” thus gathered momentum. Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries instituted a boycott on Danish products, which soon disappeared from shelves across the region. By the end of January in 2006, demonstrations were being held at Danish embassies, and when European papers republished the cartoons as part of their coverage, the furor erupted worldwide. Danish embassies in Tehran and Damascus were set on fire by mobs, and a crowd of Muslims converged on the one in London with blood-curdling signs: “Behead those who insult Islam!” “Europe, you will pay! Your 9/11 is on its way!” and, with caustic candor, “Freedom go to hell!”

At the time I was a staff writer for the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Arizona, and I set about composing an article on the uproar, which was the big story of the week, for the Sunday op-ed section. It seemed perfectly clear what the accompanying art ought to be: a selection of the cartoons themselves. They were central to the story, and their publication would show what all the fuss was about. Let readers see them and judge for themselves whether it was justified.

But there were two other elements to my agenda: clearly it was important for the journalists of the Tribune to show solidarity with those of Jyllands-Posten, and it was imperative to push back against a flagrant attack on not only the fundamental rights of journalists but on a core value of the Western world. I pitched the piece to my editors accordingly.

I thought it would be a no-brainer — but it wasn’t. What I got was a request from the Tribune’s executive editor to keep an eye on how many American papers were running the cartoons with their coverage and report that to him. Few did — in the end, only three major ones had the integrity to do so: the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Austin American-Statesman, and the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News of Denver. The rest demurred, usually offering weasel-words of justification for their pusillanimity.

And that decided my putative superiors, who ran with the pack. My piece appeared but with different art. I had to content myself with including the addresses of a couple of Websites where readers could see the Danish cartoons. I considering resigning in protest, as did three editors of the New York Observer who were similarly restricted. The furor continued and I wrote an update on it the next week, reporting also on the shameful performance of the U.S. press and concluding that our near-unanimous failure to print the Danish cartoons “had set a dreadful precedent, one certain to haunt us all in the years ahead.”

Seldom have I written anything so prescient, and seldom do I so fervently wish it hadn’t been. For today twelve people lie in a Paris morgue, shot to death by two French Muslims to avenge an “insult” to the founder of their odious creed by the Parisian satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The pair were armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and operated with such precision that one witness mistook them for an elite counterterrorism squad. They wised him up by murdering a police officer before his eyes — Franck Brinsolaro, a state-provided bodyguard assigned to protect the publication’s editor Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, who had been under threat from Muslims for years. Charlie Hebdo had been one of the magazines that had reprinted the Danish Muhammad cartoons in 2006, and its office had been firebombed in 2011. With his guard taken out, Charbonnier was quickly shot dead himself. The murder team then separated the men in the office from the women and began calling the names of those they intended to dispatch. One after another they were killed, to shouts of the Muslim war cry “Allahu akbar” (God is greater): the cartoonists Georges Wolinski, who worked under the pen name Wolinski; Jean “Cabu” Cabut; Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac; and Philippe Honore, known as Honore. The journalist, economist, and Charlie Hebdo shareholder Bernard Maris. Psychoanalyst and columnist Elsa Cayat, who wrote about relationships. Mustapha Ourrad, an Algerian-born copy editor. Michael Renaud, a visitor who’d been invited to attend the weekly editorial meeting. Frederic Boisseau, a building security guard at a reception desk. The last to die was Ahmed Merabet, an 11th Arrondissement police officer who tried to stop the fleeing murderers. After wounding him, one of them strode by him as he lay on the pavement and polished him off with a head shot as though swatting a fly.

The Charlie Hebdo massacre was the culmination of a years-long campaign of vituperation and attempted assassination by Muslims against Westerners with the temerity to mock their bullying faith or its piratical prophet. Kurt Westergaard, the Danish artist who had drawn the turban-bomb cartoon, has been the target of several assassination conspiracies and one actual attack at his home by a Somali immigrant. The Danish free-speech activist Lars Hedegaard, whose conviction on a “hate-speech” charge against Muslims was overturned by the Danish Supreme Court, was fired upon at his home in 2013 by an assailant posing as a mailman. A suspect was arrested in Turkey but released to the Islamic State the next year as part of a prisoner exchange. The Swedish artist Lars Vilks, whose drawings of Muhammad as a “roundabout dog” were pulled from an art show in 2007 but published in Swedish papers, was the target of two assassination plots in 2009 and one in 2011, as well as an assault by Muslims at a university lecture in 2010. The Islamic State has put a $150,000 price on Vilks’ head, and Charbonnier was just one of a dozen “most wanted” figures named in an Al-Qaeda poster in its propaganda organ Inspire.

Such aggression has had its desired effect. In April of 2006 Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of the popular Comedy Central TV cartoon show South Park, presented a two-part episode that satirized the uproar over the Danish cartoons but quite seriously addressed the issues at stake. In one scene of the program a cartoon image of Muhammad was intended to be shown — but Comedy Central executives insisted that it could not be. Parker and Stone therefore ran the show unchanged, but with the offending scene blacked out and calling attention to their bosses’ censorship. When this happened I wrote another op-ed piece on the affair, and this time I demanded that the Tribune print some of the Danish cartoons to accompany it or I would resign in protest. My editors refused and I did so that very day, yielding a paycheck I badly needed and work I dearly loved. I imagined that the action might have a positive effect on my profession, but it was like wetting one’s pants in a dark suit — it gave me a warm feeling but nobody noticed.

But if I was thwarted then, I am undaunted now — especially after the Paris atrocity. For in basely butchering journalists and artists for exercising their right to free expression the Muslim enemy has attacked me and my right to the same. And I have no intention of “feeling myself subdued,” a state to which verse 9:29 of the ignoble Qur’an commands its believers to reduce me through violence. I have written one suspense novel depicting Islam and its adherents in a critical but entirely accurate manner, having studied in the interim the scriptures, traditions, and history of that criminal creed and its false prophet, and am nearing completion of a second. They have not yet been published but I am confident they will be, and when they appear, the believers will see I have committed ghiba — “to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike,” as elucidated in the classic manual of shari’a law entitled Umdat al-Salik.

You will not like what I have mentioned about you one bit, Muslims, any more than you liked what the artists of Jyllands-Posten and Charlie Hebdo had to say. But come at me the way you came at them and you will not find helpless Europeans but a very capable American, one who acquired his first .45 automatic forty years ago, achieved the U.S. Army “Expert” rating with it, has trained and practiced with it constantly ever since, and still carries it daily. Try conclusions with me, and it’ll be you that ends up in the morgue.

43 thoughts on “I Am NOT Charlie — I’ll Shoot Back!

  1. Papa Whiskey, hooray for you. What a story. Educational on the background, which I did not know. I always liked the Rocky Mountain News — read it whenever we visited our family in CO.

    I wish more people were like you although I think that in this country, since the percentage of Muslims is not very high (compared to France), our chances of a Paris story are lower, although I well remember what happened with The Satanic Verses. I ran out and bought a copy just to support the notion that a free country is a free country and we can read whatever we want. Had I the money at the time, I would have bought many copies.

    I can only hope that two more years of current leadership does not lower us any further than we already are. And of course, God bless America, we still have our second amendment rights.

    Finally, I was astounded to learn that the police in France are not armed.

      • I love France (not its cities) and holiday there regularly – the police I have seen were armed. Strange that the Charlie Hebdo guards were not.

      • The gendarmerie have I think always been armed. They are regarded as military as one once told me. Normal police are not usually armed.

    • “since the percentage of Muslims is not very high (compared to France), our chances of a Paris story are lower”. That joke for an officer in Texas who will soon be executed did even more damage although it is referred to by the Kenyan Muslim Member as “workplace violence”.

    • State policemen (Police Nationale, Gendarmerie) in France are armed, but towns-employed ones (Police municipale) are not.
      But it probably makes no big difference : As you probably know, European traditions about arms are very different than amercan’s, and not only regular citizen can’t own, even less wear, firearms, but policemen are very restricted in the matter of using their weapons.
      In fact, they can’t, unless they are fired at.
      This explains not only the defenseless (physicaly and mentaly…) state of Europeans as a whole, but also the poor efficiecy of their police, al least preventively (They are courageous and some are well trained, but this shows only when the harm has been done…)
      Many Europeans look at Second Amendment with envy…
      First, thanks to Papa Whiskey for this story, and Hooray for him !
      …and forgive my poor English…

  2. Papa Whiskey,
    Thanks for this piece.
    A spelling note: In “A delegation of imams took the cartoons to the Mideast — Egypt, Lebanon, and other countries — to gin up indignation at [the cartoons’] publication.”, maybe “to gin up” should be “to jinn up”.
    Got a title for your forthcoming Islamic suspense novel?
    The phrase “to try conclusions (with someone)” is new to me; I had to look it up.
    says it means “to engage oneself in a struggle [=jihad] for victory or mastery over.”

  3. Abbas and Netanyahu
    to Paris Sunday March

    How is it possible that all this top politicians are prioritizing Paris this Sunday?

    Well, Abbas and Netanyahu, may be sufficient as indice, giving the immediate answer. It must have something to do with islam – and Jews, to say it with an understatement.

  4. Bravo Papa Whiskey! Men like you (and me) are the reason that the political class is so intent on disarming America. I read Seneca’s essay earlier today regarding the deliberate surrender of the West to Islam. We are about twenty years behind. Watch your six bro.

  5. A very good article. It is simply incredible how citizens no longer have legal access to handguns here in the U.K. In the 1920’s they could be bought over the counter, then violent crime was a fraction of what it is here today: now they are unlawful.

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined or determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” Thomas Jefferson

  6. Thank you, PW, that really does warm my heart. Obviously all is not yet lost there over the pond and you may well become the last reservoir of freedom despite Hussein and his Gauleiters.

    Here we have been totally disarmed and left naked and exposed in the killing ground carefully selected for us by those who use the Demented Slaves of Allah in order to facilitate their death grip on the levers of power.

    But, never the less, we shall have to wait and see. To quote my illustrious namesake (Seneca the Younger, (S II), the essential Stoic, in his ‘Letters to Lucilius Junior’) “You cannot enslave a man who is prepared to die.”

    Rgds, S III.

  7. Pappa Whiskey’s story reminded me of this guy.


    The Dutch did not do much in ww2. It took the Nazi’s only 5 days to conquer the Netherlands. This- disgrace- only 5 days of fighting- in the Netherlands is no subject of debate. It is considered as a fact. It’s all we could do in those days, is the common opinion. I disagree! This stupid and cowardly behaviour of my fellow countrymen in those days is responsible for the loss of lives of many allied soldiers.

    20.000 well trained SS troops around Arnhem proved otherwise. They halted the allied operations, The Dutch were stupid and the SS proved the Dutch nation was defend able for more than 5 “glorious” days. I still blame my fellow citizens for their ignorance about these facts.

    Mr van Randwijk was a Dutchmen who went into resistance against the Nazi regime. In honor of his brave deeds i sometimes think of his words: “Citizens who bow for tyrants, will lose more than life and goods, they will lose the light”( of freedom).

    And here we go again…here we go again. And this enemy – islam- is a foe whe know for 1400 years. The opinions of these ignorant [expletives] in my country are totally irrelevant. They- the mass- can vote all they want… I know i am good and on the right side..They are stupid and always wrong.. Always have been wrong. They earth is round, silly European masses.

  8. You are a brave man. I live in a predominately Muslim area of Leeds, U.K.. My grandson’s former Primary school is overlooked by a large mosque. He had a British Asian friend until the boy’s attendance at a local madrassa took its toll. The boy was told “not to play with Christians” (i.e. non-Muslims). He and other children were regularly beaten if they failed to recite the Koran properly. The authorities do not want to know unless parents complain. These children were born in the U.K. but English is a second language in favour of Urdu. I am really starting to see Islam as the enemy within Western society, sheltered for so long by political correctness.

  9. Good article. If I lived in a city, especially one overrun with muzzles, I’d have to carry. Could not live in London.

  10. In view of Seneca’s and Pap Whiskey’s postings, Islam should (must) have its religious status revoked. There is nothing prophetic in its writings, nothing sacred in its commands to its adherents, and nothing worthy of approbation in the behavior of its followers.

    • One detail alone should be enough to de-classify Islam from religion status – the death penalty for leaving. That is criminal.

      • Agreed. That provision leaves absolutely NO room for individuals to experience a growth of understanding of God or nature or humanity and to act on it.

        Which explains at lot, IMHO….

  11. What is missing is that the Danish imams who travelled the Islamic world to whip up anger against Denmark, added to those eight innocuous ones drawn and published by the Danish, two extra cartoons entirely of their own creation: one showing Mohammed being sodomized by a dog. Naturally they represented those two as Danish-drawn & published. Naturally those two cartoons incensed Muslims worldwide. The Motoons incident should never be mentioned without including this vital aspect.

  12. Again, Mr. Whiskey, I applaud you–as I did at Jihad Watch.

    Nous sommes pas Charlie–we will shoot back!

    Je suis juive.

  13. Just finished your great article before I turn in. My 9mm is on the nightstand as it is every night. And carried 24/7 for the last 35 years. I feel sorry for folks in Europe who are not allowed to protect themselves. The only thing that can stop a bad man with a gun in a good man with a gun! III.

  14. Papa W and Seneca lll, thank you for your excellent articles. The message now will be to tell everybody that the problem is not extremism, whatever that might be, it is islam.

    To that end, I have circulated both to my contacts.

  15. I created a meme contrasting Paris, France and Paris, Texas. The two images show a French person holding up a cell phone as the police officer is executed on the sidewalk. The Texan is holding up a rifle with a scope to shoot the terrorist and save the helpless cop. Share it if you like it.

  16. As long as Americans refuse to give up their firearms, there is hope. Our current government wants more than anything to undermine the Second Amendment, but so far they have been unsuccessful. Let us hope that they remain so and are soon replaced with men who respect the wisdom of our Constitution and its authors.

  17. A question to the Baron or Dymphna (or anyone else who may be able to tell me): In the past couple of days, within one of your wonderful blog posts / articles (not the “news of the day” compilations), one of the authors provided a wonderful chronological synopsis of the many global locations of jihad attacks since Sept 11, 2001.

    I found this synopsis to be an excellent and factual illustration of the trend of Muslim violence over the years, and would like to share that with some friends.

    But for the life of me, I cannot recall which article, and despite my re-reading of the articles since January 7th or 8th, I cannot relocate this two-paragraph synopsis of attack locations.

    Does my description sound familiar? And if so, could you point me in the right direction, in terms of the author and date/title of his/her article?

    With Sincere Thanks,

  18. I have been watching the coverage of the Islamic terrorist atrocity in Paris since it occurred on the BBC World Service due to the limited number of English language news services available to us here in Thailand. It’s really a choice between BBC, CNN or Russia Today, all of which are ideologically suspect, that is, they lie, cheat and dissemble and two of them report news in accordance with their Cultural Marxist ideology often at the expense of the facts.
    On Friday, the BBC’s message was that the murders were criminal acts of terrorism which had nothing to do with islam and they brought on several muslim talking heads tasked with substantiating this distorted view. Among these were representatives from CAIR, the Quilliam Foundation and old Wormtongue himself, Tariq Ramadan who was rabbitting on about how islam belonged in Europe, had contributed much to European culture (we saw that the day before) and was a religion of peace (groan).
    On Sunday, they had a team of reporters out in the crowd including one Tim Wilcox who, while interviewing a Jewish lady suggested that “Many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well” The woman was flabbergasted as well she might be.
    Once or twice on Saturday and more frequently on Sunday, they introduced a woman by the name of Nabila Ramdani, described as a French freelance journalist “of Algerian descent.” Every 15 minutes or so they switched back to her to provide the PC/Multi Culti narrative that most Muslims living in France were well – adjusted French nationals who did not support violence or an Islamic Caliphate. She did state more than once that some of the criticism of islam and mockery of the (so called) prophet by Charlie Hebdo was wrong, extremely offensive to muslims and should not have been allowed – so much for freedom of expression. Then she caught sight of Benjamin Nettanyahu in the crowd and the mask came off her charade.
    She stated that Mr. Nettanyahu had been cited as an international war criminal responsible for the deaths of thousands of Palestinians and she questioned the wisdom of allowing him to attend this rally. She then went on an extended rant promoting the grievances of Palestinians victimized by Israeli aggression. Any independent broadcaster would have cut her off but the BBC has a pro-arab/anti Israel agenda and she was allowed to continue with her calumny.
    Just to remind everybody. The BBC is funded by everybody in the UK who possesses a television set. The licensing fee is imposed by law and there are no exceptions. The BBC has a charter which largely consists of the PC/MC victim mantra and a load of other Marxist claptrap.
    When I left school in 1962, I looked at the BBC as a possible source of employment, only to be told, off the record that applicants should be conservative, Jewish, gay or all three. Where did they go wrong?

    • “Conservative”, Peter? With a small or large “c”, I wonder.

      HonestReporting.com had the story on Tim Wilcox’s interview, with a link to BBC complaints, which I followed. Not holding my breath, but it had to be done.

      • Mark, In those days it was a capital C. Former BBC commentators such as Geoffrey Johnson-Smith and Christopher Chataway among others stood for Parliament representing the Conservative Party – Chataway served as MP for Chichester for many years. I worked for West Sussex County Council at the time and assisted with officiating at his election.

  19. I too strongly believe that a thriller novel along the lines of Dan Brown’s DaVinci code, or Michel Chrichton’s many well referenced thriller books, like State of Fear, will make a huge difference by educating the masses.

    The book however shoud be balanced and offer a range of solutions, rather than just fear – pushback, conform or deport, state-regulated Islam as most Muslim countries do or finally a push for Islamis Reformation by re-interpreting The Koran (a long shot).

    I have a plot outline and a circle of Christian and Muslim scholars to add research, but will end to find a ghost writer. In the meantime I would be happy to discuss and significantly support your efforts, if you email me.

    • Michaelc58: You might take a peek at Robert Spencer’s _Did Muhammad Exsit?_. Frankly, I don’t agree with his idea that Muhammad was not hisotrical, but it may be something along the lines you’re thinking.

      BTW, I like to write.

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